The end of April marks my tenth year as TBF’s Executive Director, and it turns out, it will also mark my last. After an incredibly full and fulfilling ten years, I’m pushing off from TBF’s shore to embark on a new challenge as the Chief Development Officer at the Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin. I’m excited to serve the mission of the arts and education in a different way, and I’m beyond grateful for the immeasurable rewards that serving in this role has given me.
Working at TBF changed my life, and it changed me. The pace was tremendously fast and the world of possibility addictive. Around every corner was another way to introduce a child to a book, to partner with an organization whose mission we loved and respected, to never say no to an event opportunity that brought the community together around books, and always, always to support more authors so worthy of being seen and celebrated.
Yeah, TBF is big on celebration, and I have loved the big, Texas-sized way we go about championing authors and the act of loving and sharing books. I have adored being part of the biggest annual book party in Texas and the joy it brings to so many.
When your life is planning events, there’s always the payoff of pulling off a big event successfully. Happy faces, funds raised, getting to say those beautiful words: “it’s a wrap.” But what I will miss the most are the spontaneous moments of TBF life: running into friends at the Fest; the long staff text chains during events full of photos, jokes, and cheering on; the most epic (maybe only) wedding proposal ever made at a book event (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, google “Tom Hanks Texas Book Festival wedding proposal”); and the countless moments when an author-moderator conversation just gob-smacked me with its insight, humor, or sharp clarity about the human condition.
I could say I will miss all the excellent people involved in TBF. I’ve been lucky to work with the most generous-of-spirit-minded folks: board members, fellow staffers, donors, partners, and volunteers. But thankfully, I won’t need to miss everyone, I won’t need to miss YOU, because I am not leaving TBF, as I will continue to volunteer and donate to this wonderful organization.
I’m proud to announce I’ll be an inaugural member of the Foreword Society, a new TBF giving group whose members make a two-year pledge to support the work of the organization. The benefit I receive from being a Foreword Society member is the satisfaction in knowing that I’m helping sustain TBF and the magic it creates each year. Join me as a founding member of the Foreword Society, and I’ll see you November 11 – 12 at the 28th annual Texas Book Festival!
With love and gratitude,